So, less than 50 pages in to this, the 30th Eve Dallas book, I think I finally let go of the breath I had been holding and breathed a sigh of relief. The reason for this is because the last book, Kindred in Death, while good, just seemed to be missing something. It didn't quite live up to the JD Robb stories that I know and love and I guess I was worried that this one might fall flat too. Boy was I wrong. Eve and company are back in full force and I loved it!
Eve is always faced with some interesting challenges and this case is no exception, in fact it may be one of the most challenging yet. Bart Minnock, an up-and-coming co-owner of a e-game company, is found dead inside his locked holo room inside his highly secured apartment. Security indicates he was the only one inside the room, and in fact his whole apartment. But, since Eve figures it's safe to assume he didn't cut his own head off, she has a killer to catch - a killer that is e-savvy enough to bypass Bart's high tech security and erase all traces of his or her presence. Who could be so technologically inclined? Well, the victim happens to have three partners in the company, so Eve doesn't have to look far for likely suspects.
Since we, the reader, get a first hand view of how the murder takes place, it is that much more interesting to see Eve puzzle her way through the case and even though we know the how, the who is not apparent (at least at first). Because the victim and his potential killer or killers are all friends and co-owners of the same company, relationships and how they work becomes the underlying theme of the book. Eve puzzles over the various relationships in her life throughout and most of our favourite characters make an appearance or are mentioned.
Because this is a case involving some serious e-work and because he knows the victim and his partners, Roarke once again comes on board wearing his Expert Civilian Consultant hat (or whatever they call it). I love how Roarke and Eve's relationship has continued to grow. Eve is finally settling in to the whole relationship thing and it's nice to see them comfortable with themselves and working together. Of course, things aren't totally smooth sailing and they butt heads a few times, but that's kind of what I thought was missing in the last book. Things were just a little too bland between them. This time round there's a bit more spice.
Speaking of spice, the other thing that made the previous book flat was the lack of banter between Peabody and Eve. Thankfully, things are back to normal this time round with lots of snarky comments and friendly barbs. Visits from Nadine and Trina also keep things lively.
All in all, Fantasy in Death is a great addition to the series. While each of the Eve Dallas books is a stand alone mystery, I highly recommend you start at the beginning of this series, as daunting as it may sound (seeing as how there are now 30 books) because while the death and mayhem and mystery make the stories interesting, it is the development of the relationships between the characters that really make this a great series.